Leadership


Organizational Structure

The U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps is an elite team of more than 6,500 full-time, well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals. USPHS falls under the leadership of the Assistant Secretary of Health and the Surgeon General within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Below is a detailed look at the leadership and structure of the Commissioned Corps.

Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D

As the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH), Admiral (ADM) Brett P. Giroir oversees the USPHS Commissioned Corps, providing it with strategic and policy direction. Under the supervision of the ASH, the Surgeon General of the USPHS provides operational command of the Commissioned Corps. The ASH serves as the primary advisor to the Secretary of HHS on matters involving the Nation’s public health and science. The ASH runs the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) and helps coordinate the activities of the USPHS agencies on behalf of the Secretary.


Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (PDASH)
Rear Admiral (RADM) Sylvia Trent-Adams, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP

RADM Sylvia Trent-Adams became the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (PDASH) in January 2019. As the PDASH, she shares responsibility with the Assistant Secretary for Health, for planning, coordinating, and directing substantive program matters; policy and program development; and determining and setting legislative and program priorities covering the full range of public health activities within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.


Surgeon General Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H.

Vice Admiral (VADM) Jerome M. Adams, was nominated by President Donald Trump on June 29, 2017 and sworn in as the 20th Surgeon General of the United States on September 5, 2017. As America’s Doctor, Dr. Adams is responsible for communicating the best available scientific information to the public regarding ways to improve personal health and the health of the nation. He also oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, comprised of approximately 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, protect, and advance the health and safety of our nation.


Dr. Adams’ motto as Surgeon General is “better health through better partnerships.” He has pledged to lead with science, facilitate locally led solutions to the nation’s most difficult health problems, and deliver higher quality healthcare at lower cost through patient and community engagement and better prevention.


Deputy Surgeon General Deputy Surgeon General Rear Admiral Erica Schwartz, MD, JD, MPH

Rear Admiral (RADM) Erica G. Schwartz was selected as the Deputy Surgeon General of the United States on March 1, 2019. As the Deputy Surgeon General, Dr. Schwartz advises and supports the Surgeon General regarding operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps and in communicating the best available scientific information to advance the health of the nation. RADM Schwartz joined the Commissioned Corps in 2005. Prior to joining the Commissioned Corps, she served in the Navy as an Occupational Medicine physician.


Rear Admiral Susan Orsega Director, Commissioned Corps Headquarters
Rear Admiral Susan Orsega, MSN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN

As Director, Commissioned Corps Headquarters (CCHQ), Rear Admiral (RADM) Susan Orsega is responsible for directing all functions regarding personnel, administration, operations, readiness, deployment, and policy for the approximate 6,500 members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (Corps). She is the principal advisor to the Surgeon General (SG) on activities and policies related to Corps training, preparedness, activation, deployment, and total force fitness. RADM Orsega earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Towson University and a Master’s degree of Science from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Nurse Practitioner program. In 2013, she was inducted as a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.


Chief Professional Officers

The Office of the Surgeon General (OSG) appoints the Chief Professional Officers (CPOs) to advise and provide guidance to the Surgeon General of the United States (SG) and the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service (Corps). Each CPO provides leadership and coordination to one of 11 professional categories in the Corps. CPOs are influential on matters such as recruitment, retention, and the career development of officers. These leaders facilitate professional and community relationships to promote engagement with the Corps and increase awareness of SG initiatives to protect the health and wellness of all Americans.

Additional information and CPO biographies are provided in the links below.